Safe Food Canada seeks to understand ROI and current spending on food safety training amongst Canadian food companies
By Kristy Nudds
March 17, 2016 – Safe Food Canada (SFC) is proud to announce the findings of its first research project, which provides practical insights into the current state of food safety culture in Canada. This exploratory study is the first of its kind into the level of spending on food safety training and education for food industry professionals.
SFC has a mandate to modernize the way food professionals in Canada learn about food safety and protection. The company conducts research as one of its four areas of business. The study explored how food businesses invest in food safety training. Factors of interest included actual spending by companies on food safety training, employee job satisfaction, and changes to employee competence and performance.
SFC President and CEO, Mr. Brian Sterling, notes that “Safe Food Canada is primarily focused on ensuring that food employees are trained using competency-based, consistent learning frameworks. This exploratory study points out that SFC can help food organizations by providing valuable information so they can assess the relative payback they get for their investments in training. This sentiment is highly supported by other strong players in the industry, who recognize the value that Safe Food Canada will bring to strengthening Canada’s reputation as a trusted source of food.”
Amongst the study’s most relevant findings include:
· Training for general employees typically is done onsite, with 65% of companies declaring that this further complemented by annual external training sessions.
· While the current state of food safety training itself is seen as acceptable, there is room for improvement on how to measure the change in performance and financial return on investments from training.
· Only half of the companies surveyed keep track of their expenditures on food safety training, while 35% either do not keep a record or do not separate food safety expenses from other training costs.
· The majority of participants, said they train from 80%-100% of frontline employees. These people all receive some type of food safety training annually, varying from classroom education to hands-on training.
Maple Leaf Foods is a leading sponsor of Safe Food Canada and serves on the company’s Board of Directors with other food businesses and academic organizations.
“Food safety should never be viewed as a competitive advantage,” says Maple Leaf Foods Chief Food Safety Officer and SVP, Operations, Randall Huffman. “We are strong supporters of Safe Food Canada and its mission to elevate food safety learning and benchmarking across our industry.”
The exploratory study by SFC is a first important step towards the goal of modernizing how people learn about food safety. The report recommends that SFC undertake a more thorough benchmark study so that individual food businesses can better understand how their investment in food safety training compares with industry norms and best practices.
About Safe Food Canada
Safe Food Canada’s mission is to serve all food system stakeholders by strengthening food safety and protection excellence through learning partnerships. Its business is to develop research and knowledge and provide a focus on education and training that addresses gaps in performance and delivers practical expertise on food safety and protection for both private and public good. Visit safefoodcanada.com for more details.